KSRTC calls back tender for e-buses, bidder quotes high operational costs

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has taken the decision to cancel the tenders floated to lease and operate electric buses which the corporation plans to operate on inter-city routes such as Bengaluru to Mysuru, Bengaluru to Shivamogga, and more. The transport corporation did so post exorbitant operational costs quoted by one of the bidders.

Shivayogi C Kalasad, Managing Director, KSRTC told a national daily that fresh tenders will be floated soon. Kalasad said, “The operational cost quoted by the single bidder was not sustainable for the corporation. Despite negotiations, the bidder failed to lower the price. Hence, it was decided to float new tenders to get competitive pricing.”

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He added, “To fix an operational cost there are various parameters need to be considered. A bus must run for a distance of minimum 400 km in a daily basis. The e-buses can cover a distance of 250 km in a single charge. Moreover, there are other factors including electricity and infrastructure provided to operate the buses. The single bidder quoted over Rs 65 per km and it is at the higher end as per us. Prices quoted were lesser than this in other states. We hope to see more bidders for the fresh tenders that we will be floating soon.”

As per a senior official from KSRTC, the transport corporations in the State are not doing well financially owing to growing operational costs. Also, e-buses are still new to our country and come with huge costs of procurement and operation.

The Board of North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) will also be involved in deciding on whether the new tenders should be floated or the existing bidder should be considered.

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The BMTC had planned to lease 300 e-buses from private operators under the Centre’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME India II scheme). On the other hand, KSRTC and NWKRTC were to lease 50 e-buses each under the scheme.

The centre will provide a subsidy of Rs 55 lakh for each of the 12-m buses that will be leased by BMTC and KSRTC. However, the NWKRTC is likely to operate 9-m buses and will receive Rs 45 lakh subsidy. According to the scheme, subsidy will be transferred to the private operator. The senior official said, “The operator has to quote the operational costs that the corporations will bear. The corporation has to look into financial viability before agreeing to the operational expenditure.”

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